The notorious hacker and troll Andrew "Weev" Auernheimer threatened on Thursday to shame "dozens" of US prosecutors who accessed adultery site Ashley Madison using their work computers—a doxing campaign in retaliation for the US government "wrongfully" prosecuting hackers.
A few hours after he announced his threat in a characteristically bombastic email, the name and personal information of an assistant US district attorney was published on the website of the controversial independent reporter Chuck Johnson.
"Here's the first," Johnson, who is working with Auernheimer on this campaign, wrote in the post. "He's based in New York and used Ashley Madison at work."
The name published on the site does correspond to that of a prosecutor, and the IP address appears to be associated to a US Department of Justice server, according to an internet search. It's worth noting that the IP address can't be directly associated with the prosecutor, and it's possible that the prosecutor was using Ashley Madison for work reasons.
Auernheimer said he took the data, which includes a physical address as well as an email, from the hacked Ashley Madison database.
"Here's the first [...] He's based in New York and used Ashley Madison at work."
Motherboard, however, was not able to independently verify his claims. We have also chosen not to publish the prosecutor's name or link to the post, given that he is not suspect of having committed any crime.
Ashley Madison did not verify the emails of its members, so it was possible for anyone to register using somebody else's email. In this case, however, the data contains an IP address associated with the Department of Justice. That's how the Associated Press was able to identify, although not name, some Ashley Madison members who worked inside the US government in August, including "at least two assistant US attorneys."
Auernheimer is publishing the emails because the prosecutors used public computers to log into the site, and as a way of retaliating for prosecuting several hackers, including Aaron Swartz, as well as himself. Auernheimer was convicted of hacking in 2013 for accessing a server that contained emails of thousands of AT&T iPad users.
"These people are evil. They serve no purpose in society. They are criminals," Auernheimer told me in an interview earlier on Thursday, justifying his decision to dox them.
Auernheimer tweeted that he was "targeting Facebook ads" on the prosecutor as part of his campaign to "broadcast" prosecutors' "indiscretions" by telling their spouses, friends and families that they were members of Ashley Madison.
The hacker shared a screenshot of an ad he was purchasing on the social network, which accused the prosecutor of "looking for whores on taxpayer time."
In the post that published the name of the first prosecutor, Johnson justified it by saying that "it is against Department of Justice policy to use taxpayer funded computers for going on cheating websites."
This doxing shows yet again how damaging the Ashley Madison dump was for its users privacy. Many of them confessed how desperate they were in emails they sent to a security researcher after the dump.